The head groundsman at one of the world's biggest football clubs has won a top award - all thanks to Myerscough College.
Paul Burgess, who now works as head groundsman at Spanish giants Real Madrid, has been given an Association of Colleges' Gold Award, after being nominated by Myerscough College, where he studied courses in sportsturf as a teenager.
Paul, now aged 32, joined Blackpool Football Club as an apprentice groundsman after leaving school at the age of 16 and combined his new job with a three-year course at Myerscough, during which time he successfully applied for the assistant groundsman post at Arsenal.
When Paul took up his post at Arsenal, then based at Highbury, he continued his studies at Myerscough through a distance-learning programme and sayss that the practical experience he gained, alongside his qualifications and references from his tutors, helped launch his meteoric professional career.
Considered by many in the profession to be the best at what he does, Paul swiftly progressed to head groundsman in 2000 at Arsenal and introduced new technologies and management systems to ensure the state of the art playing surface was top-notch. He also oversaw all aspects of design and construction and delivered the club's new grounds when they moved to the Emirates Stadium, which are among the best in the world.
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